Evergreen Shrubs Bring Non-Stop Color

Evergreen shrubs don't disappoint. Add them to your landscape for vibrant flowers, leaves and stems in every season.

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Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

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Photo By: SouthernLivingPlants.com

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Photo By: ProvenWinners.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Photo By: DoreenWynja.com photographer for Monrovia

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Photo By: SouthernLivingPlants.com

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Photo By: BaileyNurseries.com

Castle Spire Holly

Dress up winter scenes with the deep green leaves and bright red berries of Castle Spire holly (Ilex x meserveae). This holly has a narrow shape (3-4 feet) that works great as part of a foundation planting or hedge. Plants grow 6 to 10 feet tall. Hardy in Zones 5-7.

Variegated Winter Daphne

Fill late winter and early spring with the sweet fragrance of daphne. Pink flower buds open to reveal white blooms bursting with perfume. Tuck into dappled shade near an entry where you can savor the scent. Yellow-edged leaves add color all year long. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Bird’s Nest Spruce

Bird’s nest spruce (Picea abies 'Nidiformis’) is a type of Norway spruce that grows to resemble a flattened sphere. The top of the plant has a slight depression, which gives the effect of a bird’s nest. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, the perfect size for a foundation planting or rock garden. Hardy in Zones 3-7.

October Magic Ruby Camellia

Camellia shrubs blend beautiful blooms with tough evergreen leaves. October Magic Ruby Camellia sasanqua (Camellia sasanqua ‘Green 02-003’) flowers heavily in fall opening small, Christmas-red, fully double blossoms. Plants grow in full sun to part shade, reaching 3-4 feet high and 4-5 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

English Lavender

'Silver Mist’ lavender is a type of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) with classically fragrant flowers and leaves. The name refers to the plant's silvery leaves, which are topped by deep purple blossom spikes in summer. Lavender needs good drainage to grow its best, reaching 16 to 20 inches high and 12 to 16 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Sprinter Boxwood

Sprinter boxwood (Buxus microphylla) is a fast-growing shrub with excellent hardiness. For years, ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood has set the standard for boxwood hardiness, and Sprinter is an improved version of that. Choose Sprinter boxwood for your hedge, and plants will fill in quickly. This boxwood grows 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Kramer’s Red Winter Heath

Bright blooms blanket ‘Kramer’s Red’ winter heath from winter into early spring. Plants have needle-like, evergreen leaves and grow to 12 inches tall and 36 inches wide. Use heath as a groundcover, or pair it with conifers for an eye-catching contrast. Heath grows in rocky soil and is low maintenance once established. Hardy in Zones 6-8.

Mountain Laurel

A native plant, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) has pink buds in spring that open to white cup-shape flowers. This native typically grows 5 to 8 feet tall and wide. Mountain laurel is a stand-out evergreen shrub because it tolerates shade (although best flowering occurs in light shade). Look for varieties with red, pink or bicolor blooms, double or large flowers, and buds that stay tight, adding an interesting texture to the shrub. Hardy in Zones 4-9.

Romeo Cleyera

Romeo cleyera (Cleyera japonica ‘Variegata’) offers year-round variegation. Leaves have butter-yellow splashes in spring and summer that shift to rose tones in fall and winter. Cleyera is a low-maintenance shrub and grows in full sun to part shade, reaching 8 to 10 feet tall by 5 to 6 feet wide. Use it as a privacy hedge, accent plant or container shrub. Hardy in Zones 7-10.

Dwarf Mugo Pine

Dwarf Mugo pine (Pinus mugo var. pumilio) is a popular choice for landscapes, fitting easily into rock gardens, foundation plantings and mixed borders. Plants grow slowly, reaching 3 to 5 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide in a decade. Hardy in Zones 2-8.

Sweet Tea Gardenia

A reblooming gardenia keeps the fragrant flowers coming through spring and summer. First Editions Sweet Tea gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘PIIGA-II’) unfurls tennis ball size double blooms on plants that grow 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Site plants in full sun to part shade. This gardenia makes a nice hedge or specimen shrub. Place it near outdoor seating areas so you can enjoy the fragrance. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Sicilian Sunshine Sweet Bay

Classic bay leaf fragrance—and flavor—abounds in Sicilian sweet bay (Laurus nobilis ‘LNSS’). Sunny gold leaves and red stems give this shrub beauty in the landscape or stew pot. Harvest leaves as needed for cooking. Plants thrive in full sun to part shade and are hardy in Zones 8-10. To grow Sicilian Sunshine sweet bay in colder regions, keep it in a pot and stash it in a bright, cool spot for winter.

Dwarf Yucca

Spiky leaves in a rounded clump give yucca a stand-out personality in garden designs. The texture is dramatic and tough to miss. Yucca filamentosa ‘Excalibur’ takes that beauty to the next level with blue-green leaves edged with curly white strings. ‘Excalibur’ grows 24 inches tall by 42 inches wide and is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant. Hardy in Zones 4-10.

Valley Valentine Pieris

Bring part shade areas of your yard to glowing life with the bright pink flowers of ‘Valley Valentine’ pieris (P. japonica). Dangling flowers open from deep red buds in late winter and early spring. Also known as lily-of-the-valley shrub, pieris is a slow grower, eventually reaching a mature size of 5 to 7 feet tall and wide. Use ‘Valley Valentine’ as part of a foundation planting, shrub border or hedge. Hardy in Zones 6-8.

Mr. Bowling Ball Arborvitae

Naturally dwarf, Mr. Bowling Ball arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Bobazam’) grows in a spherical shape. Plants never need pruning, topping out at a tidy 30 inches tall and wide. Use Mr. Bowling Ball as a path or driveway edging, foundation planting or container plant in the warmer end of its range. Hardy in Zones 3-8.

Tuscan Blue Rosemary

Rosemary forms an evergreen hedge packed with fragrance. Blue flowers cover the plant in late winter to early spring, and needle-like leaves offer an aromatic perfume. Leaves can be used in cooking. Use rosemary in waterwise plantings, where its drought-tolerant nature shines, or plant it as an informal hedge. Most rosemary plants, including ‘Tuscan Blue,’ are hardy in Zones 8-11, but you can find varieties like ‘Arp,’ ‘Madeline Hill’ and ‘Alcade Hardy’ that survive winters in Zone 6 and protected spots in Zone 5.

Sunkist Arborvitae

Golden leaf tips make ‘Sunkist’ arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Sunkist’) glow in the landscape. Full sun coaxes best growth and leaf color. Plants have a strong pyramidal shape, growing 10 to 15 feet tall by 4 to 5 feet wide. Combine ‘Sunkist’ with other evergreens to create a living tapestry of year-round color. Or use it as a specimen shrub in a mixed border. Hardy in Zones 4-8.

Southgate Brandi Rhododendron

Southgate Brandi rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Brandi Michele Raley’) is a heat-tolerant evergreen that grows well in gardens from Pennsylvania to the Deep South. Flowers start as pink buds that unfurl to reveal pink ruffled blooms. Brandi rhododendron stays small, growing 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. It’s a great plant for containers, hedges or edging a walkway or drive. Site plants in part sun to full shade. Hardy in Zones 6-9.

Maney Juniper

Rugged good looks earn Maney juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Maneyi’) a place in any landscape. This tough evergreen tolerates salt, cold winters and drought (once established). Plants have a naturally spreading growth that reaches 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. Count on Maney juniper as part of a foundation planting, waterwise drought-tolerant garden or mixed border. Hardy in Zones 3-8.

Taunton Spreading Yew

Versatile and tough, Taunton spreading yew (Taxus x media ‘Tauntoni’) has short needles that resist winter wind burn and stand up to summer heat. Yew grows well in sun or part shade, with plants reaching 3 to 4 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Choose Taunton spreading yew for a screen, foundation planting or hedge. It also works as a shrubby ground cover beneath trees. Hardy in Zones 4-7.

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